Last year, in the month of December, the University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine had conducted a study to suggest that the Covid-19 viruses could enter the brain. In this new animal study, the researchers had found that the spike protein (the red arms of the virus) can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of COVID-19, can enter the brain. The spike proteins alone can also cause brain fog. Moreover, evidence depicts that people with COVID-19 are suffering from cognitive effects, such as brain fog and fatigue.
While it was unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 could enter the brain, the study showed that the intravenously injected radioiodinated S1 (I-S1) could readily cross the blood-brain barrier in male mice. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 binds to cells via the S1 subunit of its spike protein. S1 (I-S1) was also taken up by brain regions, entering the parenchymal brain space. I-S1 was also taken up by the lung, spleen, kidney, and liver.
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Elizabeth M. Rhea, Aric F. Logsdon, Kim M. Hansen, Lindsey M. Williams, May J. Reed, Kristen K. Baumann, Sarah J. Holden, Jacob Raber, William A. Banks, Michelle A. Erickson. The S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 crosses the blood-brain barrier in mice. Nature Neuroscience, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-00771-8